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Dhaka, Yangon to assess preparations for Rohingya return
Bangladesh and Myanmar would assess preparations for starting repatriation of forcibly displaced minority Rohingya people to their home in Rakhine State.
The Myanmar section of the joint working group of the two countries is likely to visit Bangladesh by the last week of October for talks on starting repatriation, a senior diplomat told CNC on Tuesday evening.
The Bangladesh side stressed the need for the Myanmar delegation to also visit Rohingya people at their makeshift shelters in Cox’s Bazar, said the official.
It would be the third meeting of the 30-member JWG, 15 from each country, headed by foreign secretaries of the two countries.
The JWG would meet within weeks of a meeting among Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, Bangladesh foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and Kyaw Tint Swe, Myanmar’s minister for the Office of the State Counsellor, on the sideline of UN General Assembly in New York in September.
‘China has been playing an active role in the Rohingya issue,’ Chinese foreign ministry claimed in a statement on September 28.
About 7,00,000 Rohingyas, mostly women, children and aged people, entered Bangladesh fleeing unrestrained murder, arson and rape during ‘security operations’ by Myanmar military in Rakhine, what the United Nations denounced as ethnic cleansing and genocide, beginning from August 25, 2017.
The ongoing Rohingya influx raised the number of undocumented Myanmar nationals and registered refugees in Bangladesh to about 11,16,000, according to estimates by UN agencies and Bangladesh foreign ministry.
Bangladesh emphasized on the need for accelerating effort by the Myanmar government for creating conducive environment in the northern Rakhine State and rebuilding houses and villages for the returnees to facilitate early repatriation.
Bangladesh also requested Myanmar to take steps to address unwillingness of prospective returnees to accept the National Verification Card.
In August, Myanmar agreed to send teams to the camps in Cox’s Bazar to explain advantages of holding NVC when a Bangladesh delegation led by foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali witnessed the trails of widespread devastation suffered by the people of the northern Rakhine State.